May 2, 2007 2:46 PM PDT

Digg in tough spot with DMCA debacle

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Rose confirmed later that Digg has no plans to alter its policies or terms of use.

"I think as a founder of a large social site, it's very important that you pay attention and react to the people that are driving your community," he said, comparing the situation to that of social-networking site Facebook when it launched an unpopular feature called the "News Feed" last year. Many Facebook members saw it as an invasion of privacy, and in response to the outrage, company founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote an apology note and rolled out more privacy features for the News Feed.

"Mark did a great job of addressing (user) concerns," Rose said. "You have to realize that it's not just your site. It's the community that drives it and makes it succeed, and you have to work with them and pay attention to what they have to say."

Now, the question for Digg is what happens next. Copyright experts say the site could face a legal tussle, but argue that Digg's issues aren't likely as vexing as the legal challenge Google's YouTube faces in a $1 billion lawsuit by media conglomerate Viacom.

"You are publishing something that allows somebody to circumvent the digital rights management. It's a relatively narrow clause, and the liability has to do with publishing the algorithm," said Kraig Baker, chair of technology practice at the Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. Digg's issue doesn't deal with the same kind of liability that's derived from posting a Colbert Report clip on YouTube, for example.

But at the same time, "it does fit into the larger conversation of where the lines are going to be drawn," Baker said.

Still, Digg is in a tough spot as it tries to please its audience and avoid legal hassles. Digg "made their choice already about what's important to them, and that is the community," Baker said. "They serve a relatively volatile community in that it's one that has very strong viewpoints and very strong opinions about what's right and what's wrong. And when you have a community that has very strong views about how something is going to happen, you are hamstrung a little bit about the kinds of policies you can put in place."

Kharimkhany of Wired Digital said it was inevitable that Digg would at some point have to deal with this sort of issue. "I think it's a demonstration of Digg's user community's affinity for the site and the power of sharing the news," he said. "If it wasn't this event, if it wasn't this particular topic, it would have been another topic where this would have happened."

"We're definitely curious to see what happens next," Kharimkhany added.

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17 comments

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This what you get when you claim freedom and democracy and yet censor us
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 88 C0
Posted by Jazarus (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 88 C0
your welcome
Posted by Jazarus (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
...you forgot the 0x hex notation ;)
...what? Saves a couple of keystrokes already... :)

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
The Story is over 2 Months Old!
Amazingly, Digg still has comments and links that contain the illicit line of code dating back to late February, but only now are they violating their own ToS and breaking the law!

Full story at: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://allsux.com" target="_newWindow">http://allsux.com</a>
Posted by derami (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not just a matter of publishign a number ...
So what is next, publishing other's social security number and bank account numbers because we don't like them? It's not a matter of copyright and numbers as some have argued, it's the information and the context. See
<a href="http://www.realtime-websecurity.com/articles_and_analysis/2007/05/the_digg_meltdown_censorship_a.html">http://www.realtime-websecurity.com/articles_and_analysis/2007/05/the_digg_meltdown_censorship_a.html</a>
for more on that line of thought.
Posted by dsblk (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Heh - damned near every geek website has it
...good luck &gt;:)

PS: Since when did that small a string of numbers become copyrighted, anyway?

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually you cannot copyright numbers
that is why Intel changed the 586 chip into the Pentium chip, because Intel learned that they cannot copyright a number, but they can copyright a name. Pent means five in another language, and then they added ium to it.

The numbers cannot be copyrighted; however, the machine code they translate into can be copyrighted. That is the way the decryption key looks like in hex display in a computer memory bank. You just enter those codes into a debugger or assembly language program and it gets converted into machine code or into assembly language code.
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Link Flag
Noam Chomsky smiles on you!
These people do not want to be sheep.
Posted by inachu (963 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is no surprise
Digg's issues are sure insignificant compared to the legal challenge Google's YouTube faces in a $1 billion lawsuit by media conglomerate Viacom, but I doubt if Google would lose.

Copyright violations on community driven sites has become the norm. Users love to get censored or free information and the site owners thrive on circulating such information. This is no surprise.

Popularity of a site as of today, is based on numbers, no longer on quality. No wonder even sites like BBC and presidential candidates are forced to go to YouTube.
Posted by mandarinmusing (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Kudos Kevin!
I have to give Kevin a big hand for standing up and saying, 'come on...' Transparency is taking over. Are you ready?
Posted by lonny paul (52 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is like the DeCSS code
that got posted all over the Internet that cracked the DVD copy protection CSS and allowed Linux F/OSS software to play DVDs.

Eventually 2600 magazine published the crack, and then got hit <a href="http://www.2600.com/news/view/article/19">with a lawsuit to remove it and remove all links to it</a> and 2600 had displayed a text file with URLs to places on the Internet that the code could be found, using a loophole around the law as users could copy and paste those URLs in their web browsers.

I think the 2600 case will be used as a reference for the HD-DVD case, because both had the decryption code posted on the Internet.

The DMCA is unfair because there is no "fair use" clause that allows a person or organization to use copyrighted material for paradoy, education, or non-profit use like the old copyright act had in it. Our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves if they knew just how the MPAA has taken away the rights and freedoms of the US citizens with the DMCA and the government working with the MPAA and RIAA to take away rights and freedoms from the citizens.

The Genie was let out of the bottle, but now it cannot be put back into the bottle.

Haven't the MPAA and RIAA learned yet that for every DRM system they invent that takes away rights and freedoms that someone somewhere will find a way to break it?

The alternative is to offer DRM-less media at lower prices, so there is less need to pirate it in the first place. Prices are high in the first place because they added on the R&#38;D costs of creating the DRM technology.
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's Our Fault
It's everyone's fault that we have to deal with media that doesn't all us to make a backup copy in the event the kid spills jelly on the disc. If we all simply refused to buy copy-protected media in the first place, the powers to be would have to mend their ways. But will "we the sheeple" ever break our media addiction enough to take a month and not buy protected media as well as equipment with copy-protecting features? Let 'em see a precipitous drop in sales on a given month.
Posted by spruceman (38 comments )
Link Flag
But, AACS published the number
AACS published the number in the C&#38;D letter. Those are public record, they are a legal document. They no longer have any room to stand on.
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So then maybe Blue-Ray is the standard now
The studios will probably not like having their content on a platform that has already been cracked.
For the 131 people that bought HD-DVD players, you may want to stop buying disks for it and buy a Blue-Ray player.

BTW - The DMCA and anybody that uses it is no different than the KGB.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So then maybe Blu-Ray is perfect now
The 132 people who bought Blu-Ray (not Blue-Ray) players will just have to wait a few months anyway for it to be cracked (again).
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Link Flag
So then maybe Blu-Ray is perfect now
The 132 people who bought Blu-Ray (not Blue-Ray) players will just have to wait a few months anyway for it to be cracked (again).
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Link Flag
 

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